Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Play the Blues

Here's another good guitar article by the guy with the inexpensive ebooks. A lot of guitarists start with the blues chords and scales because they are the base of rock music. Do you still remember how to play them?

Hey Guitar Players! Can you play the Blues??

By: Peter Jones

Hey, I'm looking for a rhythm guitar player for my virtual blues
band. Can you play the blues? You can? Great! Would you like to
audition? You would? Fantastic! Come on, step into my virtual
rehearsal room and meet my virtual band mates. We've got a big
virtual tour coming up and we desperately need a virtual rhythm
guitarist. By the way, what's your name? Stevie? Nice to meet
you Stevie, I'm Pete. Come on, come inside.....

CUT TO.....


A dimly lit room with graffiti on the walls. The drummer and
the bass player are jamming a jazz blues. Pete and Stevie

PETE: (Shouting) Guys

They don't hear him

PETE: (Shouting louder) Guys, QUIET!!!!!!

They stop playing.

PETE: Thank you. This is Stevie. He says he can play the blues.

JAKEY THE DRUMMER: Hi Stevie, I'm Jakey


STEVIE: Nice to meet you both.

JAKEY: So you play the blues, huh?

STEVIE: Sure, anybody can play the blues.

PETE: Ok, grab a guitar Steve. We'll have a jam.

Jakey adjusts his high hat. Colin turns the volume up on his

COLIN: Ok, how about something simple to start off with.

JAKEY: A 16 bar?

PETE: Sounds good, key of C sharp.

Jakey starts counting in

JAKEY: 1...2...3..

Stevie interrupts

STEVIE: Sorry, a what bar?

PETE: A 16 bar

Stevie has a blank look on his face. Colin and Jakey exchange

PETE: Have you played a 16 bar before?

Stevie shakes his head.

PETE: Ok, erm...I know let's try an 8 bar blues.

COLIN: Yeah. Let's do it in A flat

JAKEY: Great! 1....2....3....

STEVIE: (Interrupting) Hold on guys.

Everybody looks at Stevie.

STEVIE: I'm sorry, I'm not too sure how to play an 8 bar.

PETE: I thought you said you could play the blues...

STEVIE: (Angry) Sure I can play the blues. I've been playing
the blues for years. I grew up playing the blues.

PETE: Erm, ok then, let's try a minor blues in F sharp,

JAKEY: 1...2...3...

STEVIE: (Interrupting) Er...no

PETE: But you did say you can play the blues.

STEVIE: Course I can play the blues.

COLIN: Ok, your call Stevie, what shall we play?

STEVIE: Well, how about a 12 bar blues in E?

PETE: Yeah, ok. Let's give it a go. We'll make it a quick
change 12 bar in 12/8 time. Oh yeah and lead in with the

JAKEY: 1...........

STEVIE: (Interrupting) Erm.......

Pete, Jakey and Colin are puzzled

PETE: What?

STEVIE: Quick change? 12/8? Lead in with the turnaround?

PETE: But you said you can play the blues.

STEVIE: yeah, well not this sort of blues.

An awkward silence fills the room.

STEVIE: (Embarrassed) Erm...maybe.....I should...er......go

Stevie turns and leaves

Jakey and Colin glare at Pete

PETE: But he said he could play the blues....

Cymbal crash - THE END!

Ok, let's step out of virtuality and back to reality. I have a
question for you.....

If you were in Stevie's shoes, what would you have answered
when asked you if you could play the blues?

Be honest, would you have said yes? I think most guitar players
would have. It seems as though a lot of people think the blues
is an easy music. Three chords in a 12 bar format. Well, a lot
of it is three chords and a lot of it is in a 12 bar format.
There is no denying that. But, there is also a lot more to it
than most people think.

Let me ask you another question. Once again, answer honestly.

Imagine it was you in the audition room and not Stevie. Could
you have played the 16 bar in the key of C sharp? How about the
8 bar or the minor blues? How would you have coped with the
turnaround intro or the quick change? Would you have known what
12/8 time was? Would you have been comfortable in the keys that
were suggested? C sharp?, A flat? F sharp? Remember, you are
being asked to play these things on the spot.

If you answered yes to all the above then, great! You need read
no further. Go reward yourself with a jam doughnut, you deserve
it. For those of you that answered no to all, or just one of the
questions, we need to do some work. Maybe you could argue that
"feel" would have got you through the audition. What is this
word; "feel?" Well, it's great to have it, but a bit silly to
rely on it. Sometimes we need a little bit more than feel to get
us through tough situations. The truth is we need knowledge!

If you are serious about becoming a professional guitar player
then you really do need a good knowledge of the blues. It is a
language that all musicians love to use. The way to get this
knowledge is to work hard and commit yourself to your musical
education. A solid understanding of blues progressions is
essential to your development. Sorry but a 12 bar in E just will
not do.

That's why we, at Jack Sky Ltd, have produced an excellent blues
rhythm guitar study entitled "Blues Progressions." This 32 page
e-Book covers 8 bar, 12 bar 16 bar, minor blues, jazz blues plus
many variations of these progressions. It also includes a chord
syllabus with chords that are commonly used in blues music. It
really is packed with information that will equip you with the
skills required to jam with any blues band.

The next time somebody asks "Can you play the blues?" make sure
you are in a position to stick out your chest, lift up your
head, look em in the eye and reply...."Yes, I play the blues!"
Grab this fantastic e-book today. Visit our on-line store at

Knowledge breeds confidence. Confidence will, in turn, create
opportunities. Opportunities will bring experience. Experience
will bring success!! Here's to your success! Work hard and feel
yourself improve......

Oh, and by the way, can you play the blues...........?

About the author:
Peter Jones is the Managing Director of "Jack Sky Ltd." Based on
the banks of the River Mersey in the great city of Liverpool,
Jack Sky Ltd is committed to providing top class guitar
tutorials to its customers. A warm welcome awaits you at

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